Samsung quietly reverts decision to automatically select default apps after first use

Samsung quietly reverts decision to automatically select default apps after first use
Samsung has quietly reverted a controversial change to the ‘Open with’ app selector screen that has bugged multiple Galaxy smartphone users.

On the vast majority of Android phones, when you first open a new link that can be tied up to a certain app, the OS lets you choose the default app or use an app ‘just once’. This method of handling default apps has been around since the early days of Android and is a system that anyone who has ever used a desktop OS is well accustomed with.

About a couple of years ago, Samsung made a rather weird change to this selector. Instead of letting you open a link with an app just once, the first selection was automatically registered as the default app. This made sense for some of the more advanced users. However, those who weren’t as confident in selecting the default app for a certain action had to go through the complicated process of clearing the default app for a link, then choosing another app when the ‘Open with’ selector pops up. 

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and the S6 edge were the first Samsung phones to feature with this modified default app selector, as did all future Galaxy flagships, while older phones such as the Galaxy Note 4 were updated to include the change. Needless to say, not everyone was happy about the new default app establishment system.

As it was recently discovered, Samsung has quietly introduced a way to revert the change at some point in the past couple of months. Head on over to Settings->Applications->Default Applications and you’ll find a new switch that makes the phone revert back to the old method, which is to allow you to open a link with an app ‘Just once’ or set as the default app by hitting ‘Always’. Note that not all Samsung Galaxy phone users in the US are currently seeing this new setting on their phones. 

Is anyone happy to see the old default app selector back?



1. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

I thought this was an android marshmallow feature and not a Samsung one. Not 100% sure about it though.

10. Willywill82

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 25, 2010

This was definitely Samsung/TouchWiz specific, and a PITA to get adjusted to. As a matter of fact I returned my S7 because of it. I kept thinking "Have I gone crazy?" and couldn't wait on the chance that Samsung might change things back to how Android typically behaves. In stock Android like on a Nexus and most Android devices, like apps which can perform a similar or the same task will open and give you the prompt such as when a friend sends you a web link via text message, both browsers will be presented to the user to open once or always. Choosing one to open always by default, and then having the ability to only clear this default by going through the settings is troublesome and absurd. I think choosing it once from the beginning would better suit a beginner and not an experienced or power user in my opinion.

12. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

What they did is to default every app to 'Always' nothing special. But their behaviour reflect their thinking of not respecting their user to leave that decision to them. No galaxy device for me.

2. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

So, it has been working like that? Good thing they changed it, that was stupid.

3. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Never bothered me

4. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

FINALLY! I hated this and am glad they realized their mistake. P.S. - The author's statement that the default app is selected automatically on first use is for advanced users doesn't make sense. I feel that an advanced user like me always has different ways to use something and prefers to choose on the spot every time, or at least for some things. A novice user can set it and forget it.

5. kumarabhishek591

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

Thanks a lot. It was very irritating

6. deezwhut

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 21, 2016

Author in this article forgets to say that you only get this functionality back after a recent update from Samsung. So if you're with a provider that releases updates slower than molasses, you may be waiting quite a while

8. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

sadly yes, I love android but for S... sakes google need to take control away from carriers. Google should handle all updates for android or the manaufacture. NO ONE ELSE

7. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

it was truly a stupid decision, It did nothing to help the user. Sadly i don't have the update on my TM galaxy

9. philtastic

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 09, 2016

Does this require a system update? If so, do you know what version this fix is in?

11. Willywill82

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 25, 2010

Do we know if this is built into the new Galaxy Note 7 and if not, which models of the S7 have received this update here in the United States?

13. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

In the meantime, I use an app called Better Open that give you that functionality back. If you don't have the update, I would recommend giving it a try.

14. Willywill82

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 25, 2010

Finally, I have my answer: Note7 does indeed have this option. It was only logical that it would, but yes, it does!

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